Sweet Gina...always in our hearts

Friday, June 29, 2012

Via Facebook

My wife my best friend my soul mate!!!!

Gina McReynolds
12/30/1978 - 06/29/2012

I'll write more later when I have strength.

What a girl wants...and what she doesn't

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Part 1: what a girl doesn't want- paperwork!

I have been dreading it since we decided to move forward with our third adoption.  And now we are knee deep in it.  On Monday, we submitted our I-800A to immigration. (Any personal info in these images that wasn't already blurred from a shallow depth of field was blurred by me.)

We've also sent off our state issued documents (birth certificates and marriage license) for state seals (in three different states.)  Actually, during my attempt to do the above, I discovered that my birth certificate has been misplaced.  Yes, you read that right.  Oh I have several photocopies, one of which was sent to immigration.  But the originals are MIA- missing in action. So I had to get on the phone with the Alabama department of health to get one expedited and sealed.  It should arrive today.  Hopefully.  That paperwork headache is enough for now. Thank.you.very.much!

Part 2: What a girl wants- glittery nail polish

This would be Madeline.

For the last few weeks, she has been begging me for some glittery nail polish, so much so that it was the first thing that left her lips in the morning.  Seriously.  So one day, I finally decided I had enough of the pleading and followed through with my promise.

We headed to the local drugstore. And since I knew that this adventure was a long time coming, I thought I would bring my big girl camera. Naturally, Caleb was inclined to bring his also.  I actually snapped this photo of Caleb photographing Madeline while I was still sitting in the driver seat.  I just aimed in his general direction and hoped to get him in focus.  Good enough!
He was totally impressed by the big wheeler delivering some soda and wanted to take the driver's photo. I couldn't resist photographing him doing so...only as soon as I pressed the shutter, he turned around and snapped me!  We got a bunch of laughs at this!
So, into the store we went, complete with chapstick on and purse in tow.
Since I have been purchasing Essie lately, I found a glittery nail polish that I wouldn't mind wearing also- Set in stones.  
It was love at first sight!

She also insisted she needed  a new nail file.  Funny girl.
She just couldn't get enough of looking at the polish and kept asking me to buy a few more bottles.  I stuck to my word and got just one.
Later on, I gave her a pedicure.  Well, not really a pedicure.  I just painted her piggies.  Nothing fancy.  That's Essie's Meet me at sunset with Set in stones on top.  She was in heaven!

And I have some great news about Gina. When she learned that she was moving to the palliative care unit at MD Anderson, and that's where she'd stay, she said it was not an option.  She wanted to come back to Florida. The only problem was the level of oxygen she was requiring was forcing her to remain in Houston.  Well, by the grace of God, her levels got to a point that she could be flown back "home."  She is now back in Orlando at a hospice center.  I can't wait to go visit!  I want to thank all of you who have continued to pray for Gina and her family.  I can't tell you how much that means to them and to me!

Hello, Summer

Sunday, June 24, 2012

If any of you have been following my blog for the last year and a half, you know how my sister's dear friend Gina has been battling breast cancer.  I last blogged about her struggles here.  Unfortunately this week, Gina has been moved to the palliative care unit at MD Anderson.  Folks, she knows her time left here on earth is limited.  She is fortunate to be surrounded by the love of her husband, mother, cousin, and now, children.  She is a brave, courageous, inspiring woman who has fought so hard during her entire battle and has never lost faith in her Creator.

Please continue to pray for her...that the time she has remaining with family will be filled with wonderful memories.  Yes, you read that right.  Even in the midst of watching your loved one battle cancer, wonderful memories can still be made.  I know that well, watching my mother battle before me.  Pray this time would be special.

These photos I'm sharing today are about the only thing I've been able to smile about all week.  I took the kids to one of our local parks for some fun.  It was an unseasonably cool start to summer- like 83 degrees and breezy this day! Say what?  In Florida?!  I kid you not.

I don't think I've ever photographed Madeline at this park.  How pathetic is that?  And that's because we actually have to get in the car and drive there instead of hop on our bikes.  That and the yucky black mulch that gets all over you...ick, it makes a mess.  Anyway, it was great to see both Caleb and Madeline enjoy themselves there.

Before we headed out, I did take some photos at home.

If you look closely here, by Caleb's head, you can see that it was sprinkling out.

I guess the threat of rain kept everybody else at home, as the kids had the run of the place.

This week wraps up my Snapshops photography class with Ashley Ann.  I'm so glad I took the class.  I've learned a lot about the art of photography and spent time reflecting on what drives me to create my images.  It has been refreshing and inspiring.

There is no doubt that Gina's battle with breast cancer and her fight to stay alive has greatly impacted WHY I want to put myself behind and in front of my camera.  I'm grateful for all that Gina has taught me about life, and I'm grateful to Ashley Ann for helping me to capture this in my images.

I shot the images above with my Nikon D700 using my 50mm 1.4 lens. 
Aperature was f/1.8 and SS and ISO were all over the place.

Linking up to:

She dressed the part

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The other day when Caleb sat down to read, Madeline decided she wanted to "read" too.  Being in her Snow White gown, it was fitting that she chose to "read" St. George and the Dragon.

Caleb was so gracious and let her read first.  He's such a sweetie.  Eventually the storyteller reached the end, and reading time continued with Caleb.  No, he didn't dress the part also.  He'd need a hen or dog costume for that, as he finished up reading Along Came a Dog by Meindert De Jong.  And well, we don't have any costumes like that.

For more Favorite Photo Friday fun, stop by Lisa's blog.  
I'm sooo looking forward to taking her Push Past Your Comfort Zone class next month!

Have a great weekend!

the long road

How we spent his Father's Day

Monday, June 18, 2012

It started off like most Sunday mornings, off to church, and then back home.  Patrick had to work a little. So he headed there while the dumplings and I came back home.  While anxiously awaiting their Baba's return, they put some last minute finishing touches on their watercolor projects. We used our Derwent watercolor pencils.  Madeline declared wearing chapstick was a prerequisite.
See that chapstick in her hand along with the watercolor pencil?

At one point, apparently the room was chilly.  
Since Baba still wasn't home, we thought we'd make him some cookies...only they turned out horribly, so we won't go there.  Suffice it to say, he'll be getting some brownies today after I pick up the rest of the necessary ingredients from the store.

Baba finally got home from work and opened his present- a 16x20 gallery wrap (from Mpix) of his three biggest fans.
Then it was time for some swimming and hanging out with the dumplings.

After cooling off, we headed down the block for a little batting practice.

Even Madeline insisted she have a turn.  Yes, flip flops are an appropriate part of her baseball attire, so she says.
Then we headed over to the field.

Daddy stole some kisses.

Madeline was pretty happy as long as she had a drink.
Caleb thoroughly enjoyed catching fly balls from Daddy in the outfield.
Madeline insisted she also get a turn at batting.
And she even hit the ball- if you look toward the right of her face, you can see the ball in the air.  You go, girl!
Then it was time to pack it up and head back home.
Nothing fancy.  Just a nice, relaxing day chilling with the dumplings and enjoying the outdoors.
We love you so much, Baba!
Happy Father's Day!!!!

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About This Blog

This blog is the place where shared our lives while waiting to bring our daughters Madeline and Havi home from China. (Our son Caleb was already home before this blog began.) It is now the place where we continue to share our life experiences, both big and little, as we try to glorify God and raise our 3 dumplings from China.

Feel free to join us as we journey through life, while I try to capture our days...

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